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Collective Action and Social Movement Project - Research Paper Example

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Civil rights movement seeks to protect the rights of the people in the society irrespective of their racial or social background. Civil rights movements denote group behaviour, which is a subsection of sociology. Studying civil rights movement in light of group mentality is vital since it will enable us to understand various aspects pertaining to human behaviour. The findings may provide an explanation for the violent behaviour of crowds (Olson, 1999). Civil rights movements have been extremely vibrant in America. In the 1950s, the American government was delaying legislation, which would trigger changes in racial and social discrimination in this country. Consequently, the black community realized that they had to act to ensure the government was enacting bills guaranteeing racial integration. The American administration was not keen to enact such reforms. Accordingly, black people began conducting marches, which brought to light the changes that the government should undertake. Some of the demonstrations had violent outcomes, especially in the southern states, where the white community was against any changes, which would give more freedom to Afro-Americans. Additionally, in some cities there were boycotts by members of certain communities against governmental services. The Montgomery bus boycott was a clear example of activities organized by leaders to protest against racial discrimination in the various social services provided by the government. Boycotts do not only reveal the campaigns organized by the civil rights movement but also are a prime example of group behavioural tendencies. The ability to mobilize people on such a scale reveals and focuses their efforts towards the accomplishment of a single agenda. However, in this scenario the boycotts aimed at eliminating social injustices that had been institutionalized (Ostendorf, 2011). Some of the riots were violent and led to casualties: the police or the rioters. Violent riots the members of which caused harm to others can be explained by the contagion theory, which attempts to elaborate group behavioural tendencies. The theory states that the members of such groups lose their individual identity owing to the pressure that emanates from the group settings. This makes protesters anonymous. Therefore, any unlawful act committed is not attributable to any individual. Loss of personal responsibility characterizes most group settings. This denotes that there pressure that resulted from the group structure is primarily responsible for the actions of the members, who are not acting based on individual thoughts. Groups seem to have the capability to galvanize individuals to act in a manner, which beats their individual principles. Civil movements resulted in massive changes in various sectors such employment, education and the political scenes. The government passed various right bills in 1964 and 1965. These bills aimed at availing equal employment opportunities and the ability to vote. Additionally, African-American students could attend institutions dominated by the white despite a move that most southern states resisted (Hall, 2006). The civil rights movement focused on accomplishing certain agendas. The path to accomplishing these agendas was tricky since they encountered resistance from white people who were not willing to have a socially, politically and economically integrated society. Civil rights movemen ...Show more
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Collective Action and Social Movement Project Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Collective Action and Social Movement Project Social movements have an extremely crucial role in society. Some of the roles of social movements have entailed improvement of civil rights in various parts of the globe…
Collective Action and Social Movement Project
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